Know the Odds: What Are your Chances of Winning Big on Different Games of Chance?

roulette-2246562_640

One of the games most online casino real money players choose nowadays is a slot machine called Mega Moolah. Aside from being a cute game with its reels filled with African animals, Mega Moolah is popular at the Wild Jack Casino and beyond because of its generosity. Released in 2006, Mega Moolah has paid outs its consistent progressive jackpot over 35 times, making the same number of millionaires – the Wild Jack’s most popular game has a jackpot that resets to 1 million euros when won. And it is hit quite often, too – this June, the jackpot was hit twice, paying out over $1.5 million to the lucky winners each time.

Reading the above might suggest that it’s easy to hit a jackpot on a slot machine. Which is not quite true – for every jackpot winner, there are thousands of players who don’t hit it. So, before you run over to the closest casino, online or otherwise, to try your luck, you should know about the chances of you hitting that jackpot – and those of winning big on other similar games.

Safe bets, safe games

The simplest game of chance ever invented is the coin toss. Here, each side has an exactly 50% chance of landing on top – or the chances of heads or tails landing (and you guessed right) are one in two. Some casino games have bets as safe as a coin toss, like the red/black and odd/even bets in roulette. Here, the chances of you winning are 50%, and the money you win is twice your original bet – which is the lowest possible payout in the game. Blackjack, while it is a much more complex game than a coin toss, also gives players an almost 50% chance of winning each hand. As such, it also pays out a win equal to the initial bet – or, in gambling terms, even money (with the exception of a Blackjack, which pays 3 to 2 or 6 to 5, depending on the table, the casino, and the variant of the game played).

Big wins, big risks

The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward – this is valid for many situations in everyday life and especially true in casinos. Usually, the bigger the potential win attached to a certain bet, the lower the chances of you winning it. Let’s take a look at roulette again for an example: placing a bet on a single number has a chance of 1 in 38 (or 37, depending on the variant) to be successful. It also comes with the highest reward: a 35 to 1 payout or 35 times the original bet.

Slot machines are a mix of the two types of bets described above – they come with more frequent winning combinations with lower payouts and more unlikely ones with higher rewards. As you might expect, jackpots are the rarest and highest prizes you can win playing a slot machine – you need a very specific combination of symbols to land on the reels to have a chance to hit them, and these can also trigger further side games (like a wheel of fortune in some games) that stand between you and the top prize.

The chances of winning a slot machine jackpot are hard to express with numbers as they are different for each individual game. The chances of hitting the jackpot of Megabucks, one of the most generous Las Vegas slot machines, are 1 in about 50 million – there was one man called Elmer Sherwin, though, who hit it twice.

The Lottery

Lotteries are perhaps the most popular games of chance – and the ones with the lowest chances to be won. Predicting a sequence of five numbers out of a pool of 90 or six of them out of a pool of 45, respectively, might not seem such a big deal – but there are people who have played the lottery for decades without winning as much as a cent. To win the Powerball, America’s biggest lottery, you need to correctly predict five numbers out of 69 (white balls) along with one out of 26 (Powerballs), which gives you a 1 in 292,201,338 (that’s more than two hundred and ninety-two million) chance to win its Jackpot.

Why White Sapphire Engagement Rings Are so Popular

engagement-637788_640

Contrary to popular belief, in the world of engagement rings white sapphires are making a huge comeback right now as well as other sapphire gemstones. This is something that many people hadn’t expected to happen, but it’s certainly a good thing for those looking to purchase an inexpensive yet very attractive engagement ring for their significant other.

To tell you the truth, I really like the fact that white sapphire engagement rings are becoming incredibly popular today. As far as betrothal rings are concerned, diamonds have been a girl’s best friend, but the trend is changing and white sapphires are beginning to reign supreme.

More often than not, guys would love to buy their girlfriends an engagement ring that really stands out amongst the crowd. It’s something that’s going to make them feel incredibly happy and loved because the ring looks very special. Diamonds all look the same and they aren’t really special at this point. But white sapphires are something totally different because they are bigger, less expensive, and there are actually rarer than diamonds at this point.

To help you see the truth about white sapphires rings and why they’re so popular, we’re going to share some of the biggest benefits to owning one today. So if you’re considering buying one as an engagement ring, you’re going to learn that you’re definitely making the right choice.

White Sapphires of the Ethical Option

Nobody likes to think about this when buying diamonds, but the conditions that many diamond miners experience are terrible to say the least. You don’t have to feel anxiety, upset, or hurt because you’re buying a diamond that many people could have potentially bled and died over. You have no reason to feel like this whatsoever.

The Sapphire mining practices are so much different than the diamond mining practices. Plus, one of the main sources for white sapphires is in Sri Lanka, which is known as a place that really cares about the stonecutters and miners. It’s the African diamonds that people end up getting killed over.

So, if you’re looking to make an ethical choice for your engagement ring purchase, we highly recommend choosing white sapphires over diamonds. You’ve never heard of anybody coining the phrase blood sapphires, but blood diamonds certainly exist and they’re a serious problem.

White Sapphires Are the Durable Option

You may not realize this, but sapphires are incredibly durable. They are some of the hardest gemstones available on the planet today. On a scale of 1 to 10, sapphires are about a 9, which is incredibly strong as you can probably tell.

So, you never have to worry about accidentally dropping your white sapphire engagement ring and watching it shatter into a million pieces. In fact, you can drop it and you will not even see a scratch on it unless you work really hard to ruin the surface. And since this is an engagement ring, nobody would be foolish enough to do that.

Conclusion

Hopefully you can see why White Sapphire engagement rings are so popular. Do not hesitate to pick one up for your significant other sooner or later.

Investing in Stocks With Little Money: You Can Do It!

investing in stocks with little money
Investing is something that has always interested me. From the time I was three years old I watched the stock market go up and down with my grandfather on television, over the phone and eventually on the internet. Watching your money work for you: what could be better than that?

Of course, investing is never a sure thing. In fact, most of my college savings were dried up in the small stock market crash in the 2000s. There are ways you can start investing in stocks with little money (and minimal risk).

Investing in Stocks With Little Money 

Before you think you have to have a ton of money to invest, think again. You can invest with as little as $20. Once you have some emergency savings put away and all of your high-interest debt paid off, you should think about investing, even if it is just a little bit. Here’s how:

How to Invest $20  

If you’re thinking that investing $20 is a waste of money, it’s not. If after you’ve paid off your debt, have money saved and paid your bills you only have $20 left over the best possible thing you could do with it is invest. Thousands of major corporations offer DRIPs Dividend Reinvestment Plans, which allow you to make an initial invest as little as $20 or $30. Making this small investment now could lead to big returns in the future.

How to Invest $100 

What if you have a bit more than $20 but not quite $1000? Well, if there’s a way to invest $20, there are always ways to invest $100 to $999 as well. One of the best ways to invest a couple hundred is an index fund. Some index funds (if they track the S&P 500 index) can lead to a 10% return each year! Your $100 could be making you hundreds in no time.

How to Invest $1000 

Have an extra $1000 or more to invest? You have a ton of options! The most obvious option is to open a discount brokerage account. If you are able to contribute to the account regularly, you’ll be able to stack up a sizable amount of cash. Keep in mind, however, that the more valuable your account is, the more fees you’ll encounter. Invest in a way that minimizes your fees.


Other readers also enjoyed: 


Other Investments You Can Make With Little Money 

You don’t necessarily need to turn to the stock market to invest your money either. There are other ways to invest with smaller amounts of money. If I was looking to invest a smaller amount of money, here’s where I would start:

  • Savings – Start a new high-yield savings account. If you’re able to find a bank account or credit union with higher interest on their savings account, apply and open one. Some of these accounts will require a higher opening account balance but most simply require $25. It is a great way to start earning interest on your cash.
  • 401K/IRA – Does your employer have a 401K? If so, have you thought about opening a 401K for yourself? Beginning investments for 401Ks are usually pretty low and you contribute out of every paycheck or as you see fit. It is a great way to prepare for retirement, invest and save all in one. Not all employers have this, however, so if you’d still like to invest in a similar platform, ask your financial advisor about ROTH IRAs. You will need more money to invest in an IRA but it will definitely pay off in the long run.
  • Acorns – Last but not least, Acorns is an app I discovered about two years ago. It allows you to invest your spare change. Similar to bank programs like “Keep the Change,” Acorns rounds your transaction up to the nearest dollar and invests your change in a diversified portfolio. The best part about Acorns is that you can tailor it to your personal needs. So, if you want to put in a recurring deposit, you can. If you want to only invest change, you can. If you’d prefer a more aggressive approach to a less risky investing style, you can tailor that as well.

Whatever you do, don’t avoid investing because you don’t have enough money. Your $20 or $30 could be making you even more cash right now so don’t wait!

Photo: Dividend Magic

5 Budgeting Mistakes that Could Sink You

calculator-428294_640Today we have a guest post for you from Jeanne at Everything Finance.

Everyone starts learning about money from a young age. Perhaps you ask your father for money to buy a piece of gum at the store. He hands over some change, you pay the cashier, and she gives you the bubblegum.

When we are older, our wants and needs grow larger than a simple piece of bubblegum, however, and they cost more too. In order to pay the bills we must get jobs and learn how to budget.

But the fact is that some of us are more diligent about budgeting than others. In addition, even when you are a religious budgeter, there are still 5 budgeting mistakes that could sink you.

1. Lack of Accuracy

As you create your very first budget you may have trouble deciding what categories you need and how much they should be. If you use the wrong figures it is one of the budgeting mistakes that could sink you.

In the last few months if you have been making rent payments, buying groceries, and paying other bills you are already part of the way toward creating an accurate budget. Take the last three or four months of spending for each area and average them.

Or, if you are just moving out of your parent’s house and into your own place, use your bills for the next couple of months to get an average for each category. Once you know these figures you should be able to set up a budget.

2. Being Too Strict

It’s easy to say you are going to stick to your budget no matter what. If your budget is too strict, though, you may be guaranteeing your own failure. That is another one of the budgeting mistakes that could sink you.

Life is short not to get some enjoyment out of it. Restricting yourself in such a way that you suck all of the fun out of life makes you wonder what the point is. In addition, you may be more likely to blow your budget.

An occasional indulgence is ok as long as you plan for it. Make sure you give your budget a little wiggle room so you can stay on track with your spending each month.

3. Spending Without Tracking

Spending with no thought or tracking is just the opposite of being too strict. If you are doing this then a budget isn’t helping you.

You must track what you have spent in order to know when you will be out of money. You can do this with budgeting software, paper and a pen, or a simple spreadsheet on a computer. After you begin tracking your spending you will be on your way to budgeting.

4. Forgetting to Add Items

Sometimes people simply forget items in their budgets. Common items that get missed are things like yearly taxes, haircuts, doctor bills, and gifts among others.

Not planning for these expenses is another one of the many budgeting mistakes that could sink you financially. Once you identify these items and their frequency, divide the cost per year by twelve and add them to your monthly budget.

5. Lack of Communication

If you aren’t communicating well with your spouse or partner your budget could be headed for trouble.  Each person in the relationship must have their basic needs provided for along with some wants. To reach this goal you must be clear about these items and their costs.

The consequences of not talking about money and budgeting when it is needed could cause overspending and resentment at the least. Conversely, by working on your budget together you can avoid overspending.

Managing money is a learned skill that is not always clear-cut or easy. But as you can see there are ways of avoiding these budgeting mistakes that could sink you.

What are some of the budgeting mistakes you have made in the past?

Jeanne is a married mother of 2 grown children who works a full time job, has two side hustles, and also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is finance and medical office management, and she hopes to help others improve their finances and change their futures.